Work Is Fun….

Rohini Reflections, Stories and Occasions, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

As a child I was active; I had “productive” and “work ethic” all over me. My girl classmates in the sixth grade would say, “We like boys, we carry pocketbooks, we cut our hair. You are so different than us”. They were right, I was different.  I was boring in that I danced every day after school with a prominent dance teacher in Boston, taking a bus downtown and coming home late. I loved those classes; I loved dancing, the discipline, all of us together working for the same purpose. That was where I lived. That was my fun.

In the eighth grade, my one year at Fort Lee, NJ, I was in a class for gifted kids. The lessons were stimulating, and I so enjoyed school. The kids in my class worked hard and were good kids. We were not, however, part of the popular crowd, the crowd that partied and did no work but appeared infinitely more fun than my classmates and me. At graduation, for some reason, I was included by this crowd. So excited to be “in”, I was embarrassed about my other classmates. I played a part with the popular kids in order to fit in. This play luckily only lasted for a couple of days. Boredom set in; they thought of nothing but instant pleasure with no discernment. Done.

High school brought me back to Boston, where I kept more to myself. Sports occupied much of my after-school time. I participated on a varsity team every season. I did not hang out with kids that went to parties or were “fun”. I did not know whether I was experiencing sour grapes about not being a popular girl or it was just not “me”. Because of this, when I got to Washington U I went out for cheerleading and a sorority. I went full out, and became the president of my pledge class and a Washington U cheerleader. The next year, as a varsity cheerleader, I became a cheerleader for the St. Louis Cardinals Football team. I now knew I could do it. I also knew it was not “me”. This was not where I wanted to live forever. Fun, yes, but for only a short time. I definitely grew bored. There was nothing wrong with the people or the activity, I knew that from experience. I was neither repulsed nor attracted. It just was not my path.

I wanted to return to the discipline of dance. This is where I started heading more and more inward. Dance took center stage at Washington U and then Mills College. I built my life around hard work, focus, and people who shared the same vision. But life is a treasure hunt, and with a hundred percent commitment we can move quickly from clue to clue. By putting all the effort into dance I seemed to complete my relationship with it and the next step showed up. I moved from dance to Tai Chi Chuan, where I applied the same commitment in a different venue. I delved deeper inwardly than I had with dance. Again, I deeply enjoyed the work.

Each of my teachers, whether they knew it or not, handed me off to the next teacher. Looking back, it makes sense, but in the midst of it there were times of confusion when I questioned where I was going. Tai Chi Chuan led me yet again to a point where I knew I needed something more. There was a sense I could not get to the bottom of understanding. Tai Chi Chuan made way for Swami Muktananda,  and that is where I have stayed. The outside may have changed, but the focus remains the same: looking inward to God. Does this mean I have no fun? Not at all. I love to play, but my focus is on the goal of life; moving from hell through purgatory to paradise.

Love is our birthright. I know this cannot be achieved by living only on the surface and fitting in. We each have to follow our dharma and accept it. I love to work and share in that work with others. If we look back at all the different events in our lives, we can see that we have always been directed toward what will bring us to God. The problem is discerning correctly and then persevering. No matter what we are doing on the outside, inwardly we must be boring into the deeps. That is where the real fun is.


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